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Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue

Project Type

Project Replace


The Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) project will deliver a space segment, comprising up to 22 Search and Rescue (SAR) repeaters that will be hosted on the United States Air Force (USAF) Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIIF satellites. The project will also deliver a ground segment comprised of two satellite ground stations in Canada (Riverbend [near Edmonton], AB and Goose Bay, NL) with specialized satellite tracking software and information processing systems. This system is used to locate persons in distress when an emergency locator beacon has been activated.


The MEOSAR repeaters, operating in Medium Earth Orbit, will reduce beacon detection times and calculate beacon coordinates more accurately for the coordination, execution and dispatch of Search And Rescue (SAR) resources; thus ensuring a more timely response to distress alerts anywhere within the Canadian SAR Area Of Responsibility. The project will also require a ground segment to track MEOSAR satellites to process and provide location information of activated distress alerts. The two segments combined represent a significant improvement over the existing systems. The MEOSAR system is expected to deliver improved response times for SAR activities in Canada’s three ocean approaches and the entire land mass. Note: MEOSAR is divided into Ground (GD) and Space (SP) Segments for which the milestones are: GD Implementation will have Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in Jul 2023, and Full Operating Capability (FOC) in Aug 2023. Space Segment implementation will have the first repeater available for launch with GPS in 2026, will all 22 repeaters launched by 2035.

Funding Range

$100 million to $249 million

Anticipated Timeline (Fiscal Year)

Options Analysis Phase
Definition Phase
Implementation Phase
In Progress
Initial Delivery
Final Delivery

Defence Capability Areas

Defence Capability Investment Areas

Key Industrial Capabilities

Not applicable.

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